Come enjoy my world of Fantasy and Steampunk creations.

Mystic Reflections' Creations

Mystic Reflections' Creations

Caralyn's Events and Appearances

  • Feb. 23rd-24th 2018 - ConNooga, Chattanooga TN
  • Nov. 17th-19th 2017 - Atlanta Steampunk Exposition: Atlanta GA
  • Nov. 11th - 12th 2017 - Christmas at Lithia Springs High school, Lithia Springs GA
  • Oct. 7th 2017 - RevFest: Rev Coffee Smyrna GA
  • Sep. 1st-4th 2017 - DragonCon: Atlanta GA

My Blogs

Let's see what I have been up to. :)

Friday, July 13, 2018

She Sells Sea Dragons by the Sea Shore

Hello Art Fans!
Working super hard to get my Gallery inventory up by the Dragon Con Art Show in September. Ugh it is almost here! I somehow run out of time every year, I think the universe shortens the year in July just so I don't get my "to-do" list done...IT'S A CONSPIRACY I TELLS YA!!!
But I did get a fun sculpture finished this week and I am super excited about how it turned out. I'll admit, this piece had me worried for a minute. it was going the complete opposite direction than I had envisioned in my head so I wasn't sure I was going to be able to pull it off, but it seems I know nothing. Let me walk you through my process of making my first Sea Dragon.
Every artist has mess-ups and mistakes when creating a piece. This piece decided to give me grief right off the bat. The frame I had planned to use for this sculpture originally, completely melted in my oven. I was super annoyed because I had spent several days embellishing it. But now I know to make sure a frame is actually wood instead of hard plastic. Live and learn...a lot. Each set-back teaches you something.
The new frame was around three inches taller than the last, so now my sculpture was going to be larger than I had expected but the Art must go on!
As always, I begin by forming the general shape with polymer clay around aluminum foil, loosely packed. The aluminum center helps to cut back on how much clay you use and how long you have to bake a piece.
I wanted my Sea Dragon to sort of resemble a seahorse. So I gave it a long thin jaw/snout and a curving shape to it's neck. Pressing yellow/orange glass beads into the clay for my dragon's eyes.




I poke holes in my sculpture where I need to attach the fins/wire before baking,
because it is very difficult to poke the holes after baking. 
Then I bake my piece for only about 10 minutes. I don't want to cook it for too long because I will bake my sculpture multiple times.
I hold my piece up to the frame several times during the sculpting to make sure it is the right size and shape for the selected frame.
The back of the frame is completely sculpted from polymer clay.
It makes it easier to attach my sculpture to the base.
Now lets make some fins. I sculpt each fin around a wire to keep them a nice straight shape and to have an anchor to attach the fins to my sculpture. The fins are then baked for 5-10 minutes.
Then I place the fins in my piece to make sure I have it the way I want. I ended up not having enough that were the correct size and had to make more fins. 

Normally I like to use colored polymer clay to add different shades to my sculptures but I didn't think I would be able to get the right look using only clay so the fins got hand painted stripes. I mixed colored powder with Liquid Sculpey so my paint could be baked without burning.  
Time to make the background on the frame. I don't like my framed pieces looking like mounted heads, to avoid this look, I give each frame a small background. I think it makes the frame feel more like a window my piece is coming through. I painted the background shades of blue and then sculpted right on the paint. I winded the Sea Dragon's long body back and forth to get the look of a serpent swimming. Then added small scales one by one.
And I added some seaweed to complete the look.
My frame was not feeling as oceany(oceany is a word :P) as I wanted so I felt little barnacles and shells where needed.


The small bubbles are made of resin and I added them after the piece was completely baked.
After the background is finished, I attach my dragon to the frame. Using craft wire that goes from the torso into the frame and mounds of liquid Sculpey, which works like glue you can bake.
Here comes the super-duper time-consuming part of our sculpture. Adding all the scales and facial details, Whew this takes a bit. I roll out tiny balls of clay and lay them one at a time on the torso. Smoothing each one out with my flat wooden tool before adding the next scale. Just to do the torso and neck scales took me around 15 hours.

While I am laying the scales, I am adding stripes to his body. Cause nothing is more oceany than stripes! :D Again I use colored powder mixed with liquid Sculpey to make the paint. 
Lets add belly scales now! These don't take as long because they are much larger scales. I flatten out yellow clay and highlight it with blue. Then each piece is layered on the belly. I tried to layer the scales in a way to make the scales look like coral. 

Small light blue scales were added to his lower jaw. These were spaced out a bit instead of over-lapped so it would appear more like cracked skin than scales.


Our dragon's neck and face are all that is left. The scales get smaller as I work my way to his snout. Then the scales across his nose are long and flat. I cover small wire with clay and roll it out as thin as possible, this makes perfect whiskers for my Sea Dragon. The rest of his head fins are attached and side fins are baked and attached to his torso. Looking pretty awesome if I do say so myself. :) 

All that is left now is to add small painted details to the clay. I paint the entire piece with acrylics and then wipe the excess away while it is still wet. The paint seeps into the small nooks and crannies and makes the whole sculpture pop. Then I added tiny dots to the length of my dragon, like the ones on seahorses. :)










When all was said and done, this sculpture took me over 100 hours and I used approximately 12 ounces of polymer clay. He is 10 inches in size and weighs about two pounds, which is heavy for my work. 
By Far the most difficult and in-depth sculpture I have done lately. 
I have named this guy Shorr (shore) and he will be available in my Gallery at the Dragon Con Art Show in September. I hope everyone has enjoyed following my process and I hope you can all stop by to see this piece. 
Keep checking my blog and social media sites for updates on what I will have available at Dragon Con. 
Thank you much for reading!
~Caralyn 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Then and Now Polymer Clay Creations: Always Keep Trying!

I have been trying to help encourage fellow artists recently by posting some of my older sculptures from when I first started sculpting. I remember the day I decided to start working with clay like it was yesterday. It was 2006 and I was at a very small craft show in June. It was hot, and my husband, sister, brother-in-law and I had only seen about three customers the entire six hours we had been at the show. At that time I was only making 2D artwork to sell and as we set in the heat looking through my prints my sister announced "Wouldn't it be neat to make fairies to set around your art booth". There you have it, that little phrase got us all talking and coming up with ideas, since there wasn't much else to help pass the time. The next week I was working with clay. My pieces back then were nothing to write home about (not sure if anyone uses that colloquialism anymore but...) it was a beginning and has now surpassed my then expectations of my little business. It doesn't matter how you get started, no-one starts out as an expert. I have been sculpting with Polymer clay for over a decade now. Even though I have had several years of practice I am still improving every day. My technique changes and is refined with almost every piece. I love to encourage artists to keep trying and never give up; you only get experience by doing.
So to help motivate, here are some of my "Then and Now" Polymer clay creations.
Steampunk Animal Pals, rabbit, fox, hedgehog and mouse.



Steampunk Squirrel and Raccoon 




My Dragon Pals never get tired of Candycorn.

Left Dragon from 2011, Right Dragon from 2016


Even my husband's covers for his Winston and Baum books
have come a long way, from the 1st novel to the 4th. 
I hope this blog helped inspire, I know it always helped me to see how far artist's had improved over the years.
For more information on the Winston and Baum Books.
Thanks for reading,
~Caralyn

Thursday, May 17, 2018

I say Gryphon and you say Griffin

Back again with a Step by Step blog for you all today. :)
I am working hard on building my inventory up for the Dragon Con Art Show in September. Last Dragon Con cleaned me out so I will have a whole bunch of new pieces this year. 
So here is one of my gallery pieces, a Gryphon (Griffin) and I am super excited about it because this is the first one of these I have made on this scale(over 3 inches) before.  
As always, I started with the general shape I wanted, used glass beads for the eyes and began to sculpt small details into the face and torso. I wanted this Gryphon to look sort of like a parakeet so I kept his beak short.

Also I wanted my gryphon to have feline-like back legs and bird-like front legs. So I made his little clawed feet and began to build then up with hair. Giving him a puffy chest.

Time to add some color to our guy. I normally start with colored polymer clay but since I wasn't sure what color I wanted when I started, I had to use white. It didn't take me long to figure out his color scheme though. Since he was already very parakeet-esque I went with blue and white.

Now to add some ears, because a gryphon without ears is just a bird with a lion butt. LOL  
(Fun Fact: Back when the crest or suit of arms was just an animal head, the gryphon would often be mistaken for a bird or eagle head so it was then always depicted with ears to clear up any confusion.)

Now usually I am diligent about photographing my steps but with this piece I got super excited and neglected to take pictures of my process of making the wings for this guy. No worries, my phoenix I did last year is happy to help with an explanation collage. :)
Traditionally gryphons only have one set of wings but our guy needs to be special so he gets two! I couldn't decide which position I wanted , open or folded, so I went with both. That is one of the great things about fantasy creatures, you can make them look however you want, your imagination is the limit. :)  
I like my gryphons to be very cat-like aswell so this little one is going to get a nice fluffy tail to finish him off.


He is all sculpted, now we can paint small details to our sculpture.




Our Little Gryphon is ready for his Art Show debut.
This sculpture will be available in September at the Dragon Con Art Show.  
Hope you enjoyed my step by step blog.
Check out my social media sites for more of my artwork. :) 
Thanks for reading!
~Caralyn